October 13, 2003

Disorder In The House. Baseball players cannot win; they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Either they are out-of-touch millionaires who care only about their paychecks or they are overly exuberant after winning a playoff spot. They either don't hate their historic rivals like they used to in the "good old days" or they show their hatred for their historic rivals too much and are decried by holier-than-thou sportswriters who wish these players would play the game like they did in the "good old days."

Boston police detectives intend to appear in court on Tuesday to seek a complaint that could result in assault and battery charges against Yankees Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia for what was described as an "unprovoked attack" on a red Sox groundscrew member in the visitors bullpen. Nelson maintains he did nothing wrong. ... Despite a claim by Yankees president Randy Levine of an atmosphere of lawlessness at Fenway on Saturday, Sandy Alderson, the executive vice president of baseball operations, said "[S]ecurity was excellent. ... I just met with the Boston Police Department and Red Sox personnel and am very satisfied with the security here."

Tony Massarotti reports "reliable sources" confirmed that Garcia
cut his left hand while punching a member of the Fenway grounds crew in the mouth. ... According to the same sources, however, Garcia's cut was significant enough that it could have warranted stitches. The player then reportedly told medical officials treating him that he sustained the cut on one of Williams' teeth, discouraging medical personnel from stitching up the wound. Given the abundance of bacteria in the mouth, cuts resulting from bites or teeth marks are not closed for fear of infection.
MLB's fines: Martinez: $50,000; Ramirez: $25,000; Garcia: $10,000; Zimmer: $5,000.

William C. Rhoden of the New York Times says dumping the DH will help lessen brushback/beanball incidents; a San Diego writer agrees, as did Tim McCarver on the Fox broadcast. Now, I hate the DH and would love to see it relagated to history's dust bin, but this is ridiculous. McCarver:
Baseball is easier to police itself when the pitcher has to hit. The designated hitter insulates guys without the fear of retaliation. Pedro needs to put a bat in his hands, but so does Roger (Clemens). Common sense will tell you guys will be less inclined to act like that if they knew there would be a price to pay.
I do not agree. Not having a designated hitter did not stop Don Drysdale, Sal Maglie, Carl Mays, Bob Gibson or many, many others from pitching way inside. McCarver claimed the removal of the DH would solve this problem mere minutes of also stating that Pedro had a reputation as a head-hunter in the DH-less National League. McCarver's stunning lack of logic and contradictory statements have been in full view this post-season. On Saturday, McCarver was convinced he knew what Pedro was saying when he gestured to the Yankees bench; however, unless a recording surfaces, what was said by all parties remains unclear (and as recounted above, McCarver may be 100% wrong). McCarver also stated Pedro threw purposefully at Garcia shortly after saying that throwing at Garcia would be the last thing a pitcher in that situation would want to do. In every broadcast, McCarver invents facts, ignores everything contrary to those self-created "facts" and often describes plays that flatly contradict what is being shown on the screen. McCarver, like the rest of Fox, is "fair and balanced." ... The most amazing thing about McCarver is that Red Sox fans believe he's "pro-Yankee" and has a bias against the Red Sox; Yankees fans hate him because he's so "anti-Yankee." Which means that in the two ALCS markets, 100% of the viewers can't stand McCarver.

Todd Jones was one of the first players at Zimmer's side and tried to help the coach up. "He said, 'I don't have a problem with any of you guys. I want to get Pedro.'" So there clearly was intent to harm Martinez. Zimmer's apology:
First of all, last night, we won a hell of a game, and the media gathered around me and I didn't want to be rude. I was hurting, and I had to get to the trainer's room, and I didn't want nothing to take away from the win that we had last night. I'm embarrassed of what happened yesterday. I'm embarrassed for the Yankees, the Red Sox, the fans, the umpires, and my family. That's all I have to say. I'm sorry.
After Zimmer's apology, Red Sox owner John Henry said: "I wouldn't mind seeing the same thing coming from our side just as conciliatory."

It's likely that Henry has spoken with Pedro about this, but it appears an apology will not be forthcoming. Martinez:
I wish that no man has to apologize. It's not a good feeling to apologize. I don't know if you realize that. I think it was only a matter of time before [Zimmer] realized what he means to baseball and who he is. If you look back on the incident, I don't understand why he had so much [anger] with what went on in the game. I'm happy for him that he's OK.
Martinez said his actions had been misinterpreted.
I was just trying to pitch and actually get outs. I was the one in trouble (with runners on second and third and no out). I didn't need to dig myself a bigger hole (by putting another baserunner on). I just wanted to go inside. The previous batter (Matsui) got a hit to right field. I wasn't feeling all that well in the first three innings, and I tried to get inside. I wanted to get inside.
And what was Pedro saying to Posada while pointing to his head? "'I remember everything you say,' that's what I said. 'I'll remember.' He was yelling stuff in Spanish and English and I'll remember that because he's pretended to be friendly when things are normal." Also here and here.

Interestingly, Posada appears to have confirmed Pedro's account to Mike Lupica: "... before long, Jorge Posada was yelling at Martinez and threatening to come after him and Martinez was yelling back and pointing to his head. "Was he threatening to hit you in the head next time up?" Posada was asked afterward. "Maybe he was telling me to use my head," Posada said."

Another Yankee told Mike Lupica: "Garcia said he went over the wall, and said he hurt his hand. But I think maybe he left out the part about how on TV he sure looked to be punching the shit out of somebody out there."

Martinez's high number of off-speed pitches in the first four innings was apparently by design, not due to fatigue or being unable to get loose. Gump: "When you pitch against a ballclub so many times like Pedro has, you have to do something different. ... He just made an adjustment in his plan to get hitters out. He remembers what he did in Oakland, and that was predominantly fastballs early on. He realizes what other teams are expecting and he tries to adjust to that."

Not only is Nomar not hitting in October, but he batted only .170 (16 for 94) in September. ... ESPN's Darren Rovell takes $200 and tries to scalp a ticket to Saturday's game. ... Do we see what we want to see?

Theo Epstein said Zimmer's antics
reminded me of the '80s in winter ball when everyone was coked up. Not that I'm saying Don Zimmer is on drugs or anything.
Adrian Wojnarowski of the Bergen Record writes that Zimmer
left the impression of a disoriented, doddering relative, the crazy uncle that unexpectedly loses it at the summer picnic, leaving himself to apologize over a tipped-over picnic table and potato-salad-stained grass. ... Everyone else had a good laugh at his expense, a cruel commentary on the pitiful picture of a 72-year-old man with a broken-down body lunging for Pedro Martinez, just to end up shoved down face first into the grass of Fenway Park. ... This hadn't been a moment of temporary insanity, but another instance of Zimmer determined to make himself the eye of the storm. ... Zimmer was the manager lording over a 14½-game collapse to the Yankees in 1978, responsible in Sox lore for letting a World Series season unravel one excruciating day at a time. ... [Zimmer is a] calculating self-promoter, desperate to stay in the spotlight. ... Ever since Torre hired him as bench coach, Zimmer has been creating his own chaos.
Check out the Boston Herald's articles on the 1903 World Series, including the game stories.

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